Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) invites applications for the position of Director of Artistic Administration, an artistic partner who will embrace the Company’s mission, share the Company’s core values, and help guide the Company’s artistic development.
The position will be available in the summer of 2019.
ABOUT OPERA THEATRE
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis was founded in the spring of 1976 by a small group of opera lovers determined to bring festival-quality opera to the St. Louis area. With a budget of $135,000, they presented an 11-performance season of familiar and unconventional operas all sung in English by outstanding artists and with the St. Louis Symphony as their orchestra. The company has grown significantly in the past 41 years, but its dedication to high-quality productions of a varied repertory, sung in English by established and emerging artists, and performed with the St. Louis Symphony, continues to this day. In 2006, the Sally S. Levy Opera Center became home to the Company’s administrative staff and provided excellent rehearsal facilities for productions.
The mission of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, reaffirmed in 2015, is to shape the future of opera and to connect diverse audiences through its power and beauty. To accomplish its mission, Opera Theatre produces a world-class opera festival; champions new works; builds new audiences; educates and engages its community through several unique programs and projects; and nurtures the finest opera artists, artisans, and administrators of each generation. By doing so, Opera Theatre strengthens the cultural and economic vitality of the St. Louis community.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is highly regarded for its long tradition of discovering and promoting the careers of the finest artists of the next generation. Each year, more than 1,000 aspiring singers apply to join the Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Artist programs and fewer than 40 are accepted. Backstage talent is developed through the Emerson Behind the Curtain Program and Larry & Jinny Browning Technical Fellowships. The annual roster of the Metropolitan Opera regularly includes as many as 60 artists whose came to Opera Theatre early in their careers, artists such as Christine Goerke, Nathan Gunn, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Jamie Barton, and Patricia Racette. The Company’s extensive year-round education programs reach more than 14,000 young people and help develop future audiences for opera. World-renowned artists offer a series of Master Classes during the annual Festival Season.
In the past four decades, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has presented 27 world premieres and 27 American premieres, which may be the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any American company. In addition to world premieres, Opera Theatre’s revivals of new American operas such as Emmeline, The Death of Klinghoffer, The Ghosts of Versailles, and Nixon in China not only keep Opera Theatre in the world’s musical spotlight, but prove time and again that opera is a living, breathing, American art form.
The 2019 Festival will take place from May 25 to June 30 and will include Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; Verdi’s Rigoletto; Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea; and the world-premiere of Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons’ Fire Shut Up in My Bones, based on the Charles Blow memoir of the same name. Performances take place at the 987-seat Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts at Webster University. As part of their overall opera-going experience, audiences share pre-performance picnics in the beautiful gardens surrounding the center and enjoy cocktails with the artists following each performance.
Opera Theatre has developed both a national and an international following. Each season, audiences include visitors from as many as 49 states and 17 countries and international press coverage has been considerable. As a destination for cultural tourism, Opera Theatre generates more than $17 million in annual indirect revenue for the region.
Additional information is available at www.opera-stl.org.
OPERA THEATRE’S LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is a 501(c)(3) corporation organized in the state of Missouri. The Company is governed by a dedicated and engaged Board of Directors led by Chairman Noémi Neidorff. The 55-member Board includes an Executive Committee of 19. In addition, there are 14 life directors who continue to provide guidance and support. The 2019 operating budget is $10.9 million.
The executive artistic leadership team of Opera Theatre is headed by General Director Andrew Jorgensen and includes Artistic Director James Robinson, the internationally recognized stage director. Highly acclaimed conductor Stephen Lord completed a long and distinguished tenure as Music Director in the Spring of 2017 and continues as Music Director Emeritus and Artistic Director of Young Artist Programs.
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has a year-round artistic and administrative staff of 35, which increases to approximately 500 during the Festival Season. Several hundred volunteer members of the Opera Theatre Guild provide invaluable service and support for all aspects of Opera Theatre’s work and advocate for the Company throughout the greater St. Louis community.
The Director of Artistic Administration will partner with the General Director and the company’s artistic leadership to plan and produce all artistic activities of OTSL, including the festival opera season, new commissions, concerts, special events, and the artistic needs of education and community programs. They will act as the primary contact in all matters relating to the company’s creative and performing artists, from the initial audition or interview, through contracting and engagement, to the rehearsal and performance period.
The Director of Artistic Administration will hold administrative responsibility for hiring and casting singers, conductors, and designers in collaboration with the General Director and artistic leadership. Their role will comprise researching artists, traveling to assess potential future OTSL artists and Gerdine Young Artist (GYA) program participants, holding auditions regionally and nationally, and participating in artistic planning discussions. They will oversee the contracting of music staff, principal artists, stage management, dancers, and chorus. They will participate in labor negotiations and will liaise with artistic unions, primarily AGMA, as well as oversee the creation and execution of agreements with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
The Director of Artistic Administration will oversee the administration of the Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Artist programs and will work with the General Director to determine and administer professional development support for artists in accordance with the company’s established career award funds. They will also oversee all administrative activity for new works, including the execution of commissioning agreements, workshops, creation of scores, and other related activities.
The Director of Artistic Administration will manage the Artistic Administration department, including 2 full-time year-round direct reports, in addition to seasonal staff. They will create and implement an artistic budget that comprises compensation, housing, and transport expenses for artistic and related support personnel, all expenses related to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as well as producing costs related to publisher royalties, commissions, and musical materials. In coordination with the General Director and Production and Marketing Departments, they will be an active collaborator on the Festival Season rehearsal and performance schedule.
The Director of Artistic Administration will be a central source of artistic information, advancing artistic plans with the General Director, Artistic Director, Music Director Emeritus, and artists and their representatives. They will be a proactive collaborator with Production, Marketing, Development, Education, and other OTSL Departments to advance the company’s goals. They will act as representative of Opera Theatre in relations with other opera companies, funders, arts and community organizations, as well as federal, state, and local legislative entities.
The ideal candidate will combine a passion for opera with a proven record of success as an artistic leader and manager of people and projects. They will bring education and/or experience that demonstrates they are thoroughly knowledgeable about the operatic voice, artists, and repertoire, keenly aware of the current operatic field and artistic trends, and successful at assessing the working potential of stage directors, conductors, designers, singers, dancers, coach accompanists, stage managers, and instrumentalists.
The successful candidate will be creative, curious, proactive, and persistent. They will be a person of integrity and high ethical standards. They will be open to new ideas and differing points of view, and will approach work with enthusiasm, energy, and a positive attitude.
The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to live in St. Louis, to be a leader in the arts, and to participate actively in the life of the community.
Applicants for the position of Director of Artistic Administration are asked to submit a letter that describes specific interest in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and outlines experience and qualifications for the position.
Please send this letter with a resumé and contact information for at least three professional references. Electronic submissions are requested. All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge.
Opera Theatre expects to identify the successful candidate in spring/early summer 2019.
Opera Theatre is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, gender, sex, sexual orientation, age, and veteran or disability status.